You told me something,
That scared me to death,
Don't take me home,
I can't face that yet.
I'm ashamed that I'm barely human,
And I'm ashamed that,
I don't have a heart you can break,
I'm just action,
And at other times reaction.
All I owe, all I owe,
Strides I spend to the finish line.
I bend over, panting, trying to pull enough energy together as the rain collides with my back. With my hands on my knees, a sword missing, I'm exhausted. All my fight has been taken away slowly and painfully. I look up, squinting my eyes and looking into the darkness, noticing two figures. Rye and Ryder. Nine and Six. The closest is short, but that doesn't help. I've rarely seen Ryder, but I know she's not tall. They're about the same height, maybe Rye's a little shorter.
The Cornucopia stands proudly in the middle, shining as a crackle fills the air.
And suddenly, I can't resist.
"Looks like it's down to us!" I shout out, noticing the figures face my way. "That's right, you've heard it! Us three, the final three, the last ones to die!"
I look up, smiling, catching water in my mouth and swallowing, letting the sound of thunder and lightning fill my ears, heightening my body, making me feel... Wonderful. This is my moment. The moment I've been waiting for. This is why I trained and why I volunteered.
Why I did put up with Diamond and her arrogance, Troy, Kaden and Camila with their mental problems, Nerine with her whining.
Why I killed the people I did.
I did all of this to become a Victor. I was born for this. I was made for this. And now, in this moment of glory, I won't let anyone take me down. Not some little pesk from Nine, and definitely not some mildly psycho from Six with a death wish. I stare at the figures, everyone just waiting around, waiting for someone to make a move.
"Isn't anyone going to do something?" I call out again mockingly. "Nothing at all?"
The game begins.
With my breath back, I run forward, crunching my boots into the ground. It's only then I realise the flashlight is gone. Well, mine is cracked, but I can't see anything from either of the twits. So clearly something has happened. Both figures notice, but neither react quick enough. I target the one closest to me, charging like a bull and instantly, I collide. They're taken back, and as they hit the ground, I can tell it's a boy. Rye.
"Hello, you little problem," I sneer. "Missing your boyfriend?"
He struggles underneath my body, but manages to jerk his knee a little, colliding with my chest. I wince, but bring forth my hand and slap him across the face. He's stunned, and whilst the poor boy is confused, I look over at Ryder, noticing her double over a little. She's clearly the one that killed Camila. But obviously Camila managed to damage her enough to make my victory that much more easier.
I look back, just as a crackle of blue lights the sky. I drive my hand across Rye's cheek again, gaining a cry of pain. But suddenly, pain takes over my body. I look down, barely noticing the crimson stain on my lower abdomen. Then, he effortlessly throws me off of him. I land, hitting dirt, but manage to pick myself up enough to see him running forward, driving the steel side of his boot into the stab wound.
I cry out. Fuck me, that hurt. I stand up, managing to catch Rye by the wrist as he attempts to stab me. I twist his wrist, hearing a small cry of pain and the clang as the dagger drops, before I throw him to the floor. My hand finds the wound, which surprisingly, seems bigger and sharper.
"Thinking you have the balls to finish me off," I scoff weakly. "I was fucking made for this, little boy!"
Rye stays on the ground, before he crawls away, lifting himself up. I bend down to pick the knife up, just as he reaches the other side. Ryder begins to move towards us weakly, and it's only then, do I realise, she has her hatchet. Sorry, Seven's hatchet. The metallic shine glimmers, and as quick as she's walking, it turns into a sprint. She dashes forward, albeit a bit of staggering, before she reaches me and swings the weapon down.
I counter with my knife, pretending it's like a smaller sword. A clang of metal spits out, and from my side, I see Rye running forward again, just as Ryder slams down her hatchet once more. I manage to counter it again, but I'm vulnerable, and in that small chance, Rye kicks his foot up, catching my knee. That knocks me enough for Ryder to slide down her hatchet, slashing across my wrist.
But I swing out my fist, smashing it into Rye's face. He falls, as I collapse and Ryder staggers back and falls to her knees, wheezing heavily.
All down for the count.
I crawl along the floor, feeling weak and light. My head is swimming. My heart is thumping, and literally, I can hear the pounding of my blood in my head.
Then, I catch a glimpse of light. The inside of the Cornucopia sparkles, as the rain slows down to a halt, blue sky peering through the dark clouds. The golden horn becomes more visible, and then, I smile weakly. Inside lies a collection of large, stainless steel knives.
The perfect killing weapons.
It's like the Gamemakers want me to win. After all, I am the perfect Victor compared to little fuck-ups like Six and Nine.
I breathe slowly, looking down but keeping my eyes on both Nico and Rye and completely ignoring the shine from the corner of my eye. It's no doubt the lightning. Nico is the main problem. Rye... He kind of helped me, which is weird, since I've never spoke to the kid and I plan on killing him really soon. Camila done a lot of damage, though. Bruises and cuts on my face, a damaged wrist which is nearly broken, a deep, jagged knife wound in my shoulder that bled for fucking ages.
I look at Rye, whose closest to the wall, seeing him crying. It stirs something inside me. Not quite compassion or guilt, but definitely something minorly positive. Maybe a bit of sadness. Or maybe because Rye, like many of the others, is just another example of what the Capitol. They take a kid, damaged them until they're nothing more than a pawn to their game, before killing them off just for their amusement.
Rye is the perfect example of a broken child.
"Stop crying," I cough before laughing bitterly. "It's not going to look good for the cameras."
He looks up at me. "I'm not."
"Sure thing." I raise my eyebrows.
But then, it hits me as I see a strip of light on the ground. My stomach knots, as I look up, noticing the clear sky. I follow the line where Nico is, well, was. My heart stops and shaking slightly, I look at the Cornucopia. Nico stands there, smiling despite the patches of red on his suit, a handful of large knives in his hand. Not the same knives that Camila had, where she could throw them with ease. But proper, large, machete-like knives.
"Now the fun really begins," Nico smiles. "Prepare to die, you little weaklings."
Nico begins to run forward, pulling out two knives, dropping the bag on the floor and having a weapon in each hand. I look to Rye, who gets up, alert. Guess I'll have to work with him, just so I can murder this arrogant fucker and then him.
He arrives, cutting the air above my head, just as I duck. Instead, a knife leaves his hand and cuts through the air as it comes downward. It catches my leg, but luckily, Rye comes charging forward, knocking Nico to the ground. He loses his knife, just as I pull the other from my leg. I stand up, leg weak, just as Nico manages to knock Rye from him. Really, it'd be easy to kill them both. Stab Rye... But then I'd have to take Nico on on my own and right now, that isn't possible.
He's quick to his feet.
"You don't honestly think you can kill me?" Nico laughs, stamping his foot down on Rye's hand, causing him to squeal in pain. "Well, someone is delusional."
"I don't think I can kill you," I muster up enough strength to snipe back, ready to stance with knife in one hand, hatchet in other. "I just think you haven't got a chance in winning."
Rye is quick to punch his ankle, but that causes Nico to bring his foot up, slamming it down hard until I hear what must be the bones in Rye's wrist and hand snapping.
"Little girl, please, you haven't got a chance," Nico grounds his foot more into Rye's hand, gripping his knife deadly. "Even if you did manage to win, you'd be eaten alive. Think you could handle the fame? The attention, the fans, the glory of it all? Because I know I can. I know I'm ready for all this."
"That's because you're a sick bastard who enjoys killing."
Nico shakes his head. "It's never been about the killing. I'm not Troy or Camila or Kaden. No. It's about the fame, my sweet, fucked-up child. It's about making a name for myself."
"For murdering helpless children, well done Nico, you've done your parents proud."
"They don't care," Nico shrugs the comment away. "They had plans for me and I guess I screwed all that up. But no matter. I'll go back, live on my own, and guess what, I'll be somebody because I worked for it. Now, if you'd so kindly stop talking, I need to kill the little pesk underneath my feet."
I watch, frozen, as Nico brings the knife downwards hard, stabbing Rye in the back. Rye wiggles, before he stops moving completely, dead. Nico steps off, moving forwad towards me, knife poised, ready to attack and kill.
"You know what?" I force a smile, ignoring the pain, the darkness that's beginning to smother me. "I think you're just a scared child, like the rest of us."
Nico laughs mockingly. "The complete opposite. This is how it is, Ryder. We've been put in here to kill. It's society at its worse, and you know what? The ones who play by the rules, the ones who don't fight back, they're the ones who survive in the end."
"But if you fight, you have a good chance."
With that, I run forward, swinging wildly with both weapons. Maybe I've been a bit rash, but weirdly enough, I don't care. Common sense was never for me. He counters my knife with his, but I swing the hatchet, slicing across his stomach. He jerks his knee out, catching my stomach, knocking me back and making me drop my hatchet.
I don't stop, though. I ball my fist, punching his face. He manages to snap back quickly, slapping me. I fall, gripping the knife harder and driving it into Nico's knee. He cries out, kicking forward and landing the steel cap of his boot into my face, kicking me away.
"Give up already!"
I spit a load of blood out. "Not a fucking chance!"
"Bring it, little girl."
I'm up on my feet, just as Nico runs forward, kicking again. I avoid it this time, managing to get enough momentum to kick him, catching him behind the knee. He falls, swings around and punches me in the gut. I stagger back, and in the blind moment, he's up on his feet.
His knife soon zips forward, slowly in my mind, and slams into my stomach, just below my heart. I stumble back, holding the weapon, fighting back the ragged breaths. He's got me. I'm fucked. I see his smile, and suddenly, I find myself conflicted in whether to smile, laugh or literally scream murder.
He rises, holding the bloody hatchet, before swinging it up hard. I watch as Nico's eyes go wide, dark and then empty. He falls, hatchet connected to the back of his skull, showing off Rye, weak, anger clear in his face, but overall, I still see a broken, corrupted, little boy.
I never did hear his cannon, come to think of it. Clever little fucker. Maybe Nico should have paid more attention to his opponents, rather than his appearance and ego.
"You're a smart fuck," Ryder smiles weakily, still clutching the knife in her stomach. "I never did think you were dead."
I blink a few times, looking down at Nico, hatchet buried deep in his head. I killed him. I killed someone. I actually took someone's life. A cannon booms out, shaking the stones, shaking the ground beneath my feet like a miniature earthquake.
You done it, Rye, you killed someone. You're not such a coward anymore.
My fist ball up, and instantly, I'm punching my head, the other hand limp, a sickly blue. "Go away, go away, go away!"
You can't get rid of me. I'm part of you. I am you, Rye.
"No you're not," I cry. "You're not me. I'm not you. You're not real. You're not real. You're not real."
My hand continues to punch into my head, until I see stars glittering my vision. I manage to see Ryder, in the daze, holding the knife, whimpering slightly, daring not to move it. I look up, tears streaming my face, looking at her properly. Covered in bruises and cuts, deep wounds and injuries.
"I killed someone," I whimper out again. "I actually killed someone."
"Well done, you've finally been corrupted by the Capitol. You are now officially forever screwed, whether you live or die."
I blink again, feeling the warm sensation of my sticky blood, running down my back from the stab wound Nico so kindly gave me. But compared to Ryder, I'm better off. My eyes scan the area, finding the knife Nico dropped, just inches from my feet. I pick it up, gripping the blade end, letting the silver cut into my skin.
Ryder soon crumbles to the floor, knife still buried in deep, smothering her insides. She whimpers again, but manages to keep composed.
I never did deserve to win. I never deserved to survive. Veena died for me. Everest died for me.
Ryder will not die for me.
"What are you doing?" Ryder asks confused. "Oh, fuck sake, at least give me time to try and recover."
I pull the knife, placing it out, silver tip aimed for my heart. I look for Ryder's expression, and when it dawns on her, she looks conflicted. My death means her survival. But I guess she never expected someone to take their life for her. After all, people kept doing it for me. Only time I repay the favour.
Rye, don't. Just kill her. Bury that knife into her brain and be done with it. Go home! Go home to Zea and Kasha! We can be free!
"I'll never be free," I whisper. "From you or from life."
But just as I begin to dig the knife in, piercing my skin sharply, the arena shakes. Louder and stronger than what the cannon caused. I look around, noticing the rock walls that cased us in at the start beginning to fall. They tumble, smashing into the rock. A rock falls near me, scaring the life out me, causing the knife to fall. I guess the Gamemakers don't find their final fight as good anymore, now that the real competitor is dead.
Natural instincts take over, and in the end, I run, realising that the Gamemakers just don't want a suicide on their hands. My feet crunch the ground as I near the Cornucopia, and somehow, I put my foot on and begin to climb with one hand, my other completely useless.
From there, the damage is obvious.
The walls aren't the only things collapsing. The floor, the rocks I was just standing on, begin to fall in the tunnels below, caving in.
The arena is crumbling, bit by bit. Out of breath, I look around, seeing the chaos. Tears roll down my face, my head hurts, body hurts... My heart hurts. Then, as the rocks slow down, it dawns on me. Everything from the arena is gone, except a small circle around the Cornucopia.
Panic sets in. I didn't hear her cannon, but I don't want to live. She deserves it more than me. She deserves her life, and I don't.
As the dust clears, I see her, back pressed against the golden armor of the Cornucopia, knife even deeper than before, her face an unusual colour of white, lips bright blue. I climb down, shakily, awkwardly, just as the whole arena stops. I stop before her, and her smirk appears, but it isn't the same. They want one of us to die. I'm okay and Ryder isn't.
"I f-fucking hate them... You know that?"
I shake my head. "You can't die. You're suppose to live, not me."
Ryder laughs, but it's broken, ragged. "Fuck it. I-I've given up, anyway. Y-You might as well k-kill me."
I blink. I can't kill again.
Do it. Just kill her already.
"No," I mumble. "I-I won't do it."
Ryder scoffs weakily. "I-I can't believe I'm g-going to die so a w-wimp like you can win. G-Grow a fucking p-pair and do it."
I bend down, dazed, holding the edge of the knife with my palm. Ryder offers a smile, but I can't tell whether it's pitiful or sarcastic, and slowly, as tears fall, I smile.
"I'm s-sorry, Ryder."
"D-Don't be," Ryder replies. "I-I'd rather d-die than l-let them have me."
And with a final thump, I push the knife in further. Ryder gasps, already near dead, before her eyes begin to lose colour. Darkness is quick to take over, her body white, and finally, the cannon booms, signalling Ryder's death. 23 dead. Me, the one who didn't deserve it, left the winner. As the burst of static fills the air, I quickly pull out Ryder's knife harshly with my good hand, placing it to where my heart is. But I'm shaking. Shaking so badly, I lose my position, just as I push.
The knife stabs straight into my stomach and I cry out in pain, red blood squirting out, soaking my clothing.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to present the Victor of the Fourtieth Hunger Games, Rye Paramintt! I present you - the tribute of District Nine!"
I hear the hovercraft, but I don't see it. Blackness takes over my body. I know I didn't hit my heart, I can still hear it beating. It's louder, throbbing in my head. My eyelids slide close as I fall back, hitting the ground, just as the hovercraft gets louder and finally, everything goes black.
I'll never be free.
Nothing To Remember by Neko Case.
I've created an easy to use blog. To find it, go to - nowheretohidehungergames . blogspot . co . uk/ just take out the spaces and done. Deaths will be notified there.
Nico Cashlin, District One.
Ryder Corvair, District Six.
On the blog, I've created an obituary for all the tributes, called Remember, Remember - It'll tell you about what happened to all the bodies, as well as what happened to my poor baby, Rye.
If you could, a review would make my day, especially if you answer these questions?:
-Who you thought would win Nowhere To Hide.
-Are you happy with who won?
-The most shocking death of the entire story.
-The most jaw dropping moment of the story.
-Your favourite chapter?
-Your favourite line from a character?
-Thoughts on the obituary on some characters/your character?
This was incredibly hard to get through. I always knew I'd have to pick a winner, but I never expected it to be so sad when I had to kill tributes. I've grown to love all these tributes, including Troy and Camila, even Buzz, though he was a crybaby. These were my babies. I loved them all, 23 died and really, it was heartbreaking. Then to be left with these three... It was horrible.
I'm happy with how things turned out. I do wish both Rye and Ryder could have won, but only one could, and whilst both took amazing journeys of discovery and everything, it was going to be hard for Ryder to survive with all the wounds Camila delivered to her. I do love you, Ryder. And Nico. You poor, arrogant, delusional boy.
Thank you to all submitters, those who were faithful and those who weren't. You're all brilliant. Thank you!
And of course, check out the fanmade video by BrightLittleOranges! - youtube watch?v=QIyJUTaAU1g&feature=plcp